Business communications became extremely challenging in 2020, as communicators lost the opportunity to have meetings and events in person. And we also had the challenge of trying to break through the massive digital clutter of a presidential election year.
Certainly, we all hope life, and in turn, the economy, gets back on track in 2021. So what should communications professionals consider as we continue to navigate this new normal?
Here are five communication tips for PR and marketing professionals in 2021:
- Quality over quantity continues to matter in content creation. Creating quality content is more important than ever. It may seem like straight out of Marketing 101, but understanding your target audience and what they find interesting and helpful is critical for success. Stop writing puff pieces and surface-level testimonial stories in your business-to-business work. Instead, understand and address your audience’s pain points while explaining difficult or challenging topics. The hard work will pay off with a higher level of engagement.
- Improve diversity and inclusion efforts. If 2020 was the year that companies and organizations admitted that we aren’t where we need to be, we expect that 2021 will be a year when many people take action. At B2, we are involved with several organizations that are combining learning opportunities with real-world discussions about how to take action that addresses the lack of workforce diversity and all-too-common ignorance of biases. Also, we expect to see more gender-neutral language and consideration for the images and illustrations that companies use in their marketing and communications in 2021.
- Showcase your company’s experts. As hard as it can be to predict the future, position your organization as an expert on what may happen next. We’ve been working with experts at Colliers International to share meaningful insights about the future of the office market. And though no one knows how permanent the working-from-home trend will be, Colliers International has plenty of information to help building owners and investors as they think about 2021. Look for internal experts who follow trends and encourage them to share their analysis and assumptions about what to expect. Their insights will be incredibly helpful to your audience.
- Resist temptation to cut the marketing budget. In an uncertain economy, cutting marketing spending is often a common move. And it’s a bad one. Consistency is key to effective marketing and communications. It takes experience and skill to understand the audience and the subject matter as you write content and create advertising. As the old adage goes, you get what you pay for.
- Support your virtual team. “Zoom fatigue” is real, and online meetings may not be working as well as they did six months ago. There may be times when an old-fashioned phone call would be welcomed over another Zoom and think about ways to support your remote team, from sending UberEats gift cards for the next lunch ‘n learn or offering $100 toward any equipment that would help them work more effectively at home. Some of our clients are having online employee happy hours with trivia contests and wine tastings. Others are making sure that meetings include time for each participant to talk about something interesting going on in their lives.